Many people like to add fruits and vegetables to their dog’s food. It isn’t a bad idea, but it is important to understand a few things first. Dogs cannot extract the goodness from fruits and vegetables like we do. There are 3 genetic reasons for this.
1. Dogs don’t chew- Wild dog pack eating behavior requires that meat be torn from the carcass and immediately swallowed. Taking time to chew would
give competing dogs an advantage for meal amounts! This behavior persists in the modern dog.
2. Dogs don’t have functional molars- Dog’s teeth are sharp and pointed. The sharp teeth on top slide by the sharp bottom teeth to shear and tear
when the mouth is closed. No grinding occurs. In fact, dogs only have 4 flat molars (2 on top and 2 opposing on the bottom) and they are at the very
back of the mouth where little chewing activity occurs. Today’s dogs crack their hard, kibbled food. That is why their vomit looks just like their
meal, only wet. Without being broken into smaller sizes by chewing, the total digestive area of the food is reduced. Digestive enzymes and chemicals
can’t extract all of the nutrient contents of the food, especially higher fiber foods like fruits and vegetables.
3. Dogs have a shorter digestive time- The digestion and absorption time of food in the dog’s intestine is half of that for humans.
This rapid transit of food is why dogs poop out intact kernels of corn, whole berries or pieces of carrots. There simply isn’t enough time to extract
the goodness from fruits and vegetables from their complex, non-chewed cellulose structure.
But there is a way to maximize the goodness in fruits and veggies for your dog:
Osterize, blend or grind them- These types of preparations for fruits and vegetables increase the digestive surface area of the
food so the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytonutrients can be more quickly and easily extracted from the intestines into the blood stream.
- That way your dog can benefit from your efforts to provide them with fruits and veggies!